We've Nearly Made It
Hello and Welcome!
AS OF AUGUST 2016 A BLONDE BENGALI WIFE AS MOVED TO ITS NEW HOME ON MY WEBSITE AT http://www.writerightediting.co.uk/
HOPE TO SEE YOU OVER THERE!
Where you will learn everything you
need to know about the progress of A Blonde Bengali Wife, the travel
book I've written about my love-affair with the fabulous country of
It's a blog about Bangladesh, about Bhola, and about fiction
and creative writing in general...
A Blonde Bengali Wife:
First published in September 2010 and launched in October 2010.
Reprinted and re-launched in November 2015 as an eBook available from Amazon UK/.com
#1 Amazon Bestseller
Follow it on Twitter @AnneHamilton7 and @Anne_ABBW and Goodreads
Sunday, 30 November 2014
The local Committee are going from strength to strength, and Sharjahan and his family, six months in to their trial as assistant Directors/houseparents have just had their contracts extended.
The children are all doing well, and life very much goes on, despite the day to day tribulations over which we only tread the surface...
Just a few new pictures, this month, for you to share in:
|All present and correct - the Bhola Family as it is at present!|
|Sharjarhan and his family (with Freda)|
|Hassan, creator of this year's 'Christmas' card is very proud!|
|Weeding the vegetables...|
The Christmas cards are available via the www.bhlaschildren.org website - a technological glitch means I haven't a direct link here, but the website is always worth a look anyway! And, a shameless plug, if anyone would like to give a present of A Blonde Bengali Wife, Amazon has it, or you can email me direct!
Friday, 31 October 2014
If that sounds like you, then here are a few more incentives, success stories from various people and groups with which I'm involved:
Writer, Jazz Shaban, is publishing her dual biography Road to Damascus, in November. It tells the parallel stories of the lives of sisters Jigi and Suzan, raised separately, one in the UK and the other in Syria, and how they eventually get back together again. The story is often challenging but Jazz's insights and humour bring the book alive and it reads like a gripping novel. All the more poignant because the Syria that Suzan still lives in is changed beyond all recognition.
Another author, Marie Campbell, has just found a very enthusiastic agent for her first novel, currently titled, Missing. James Essinger of the Canterbury Literary Agency, is the one who has recognised what a clever and entertaining thriller this is... Father-to-be, Michael, goes missing and Jill, his partner, is the only one convinced it's far more than a case of cold feet. Michael certainly has a past, but where does the shadowy Anna fit into it? Also told from dual points of view, this will keep you guessing to the suitably chilling end. No doubt a publisher is just round the corner.
Kendra Olson and Stuart White have embarked on the academic route. Both with novels under their belts, they were both accepted on to the very competitive MLitt in Creative writing at Glasgow University. Much luck to the them!
Over to Edinburgh-based writing groups: I've already written about the successful collaborative play that Ox-pen, based at Pentland Community Centre, wrote, entitled Spooks, Secrets and Suspects. Well, if you are local and you missed the reading, the film version is being shown in Oxgangs Library on Thursday 20th November at 2pm - all are invited. At the other end of town, Gilmerton Writers' are currently preparing their first anthology of work... more on that in later posts.
If you're still not quite ready to hunker down and write, consider hopping out to the Lyceum's current production, Bondagers. Great play by Sue Glover that has come home to Edinburgh and is quite compelling... Click on www.lothian-life.co.uk for a truly wonderful (you'll see why) review!!
Finally, a totally unconnected, very important, plug for Christmas cards in aid of Bhola's Children. Currently available via www.bholaschildren.org they are also available without a greeting so you can use them any time of year! I'll paste a full link here as soon as PayPal etc is set up for purchase.
Monday, 29 September 2014
1 handful red lentils
1 handful any green leaf vegetables
couple of tablespoons of oil
water as required
Sunday, 31 August 2014
Having just returned from a whirlwind summer of travel, I'm once again reminded how indebted I am to so many long-standing and new friends for their generous hospitality. On the most recent trip this ranges from Ger and Jackie in Ireland to Jose in Washington DC and all the folks in Virginia, to Jay and Charles and Ravi, Valeria and Marla in California and to Guillermo and Dick in Vermont... And the many others who have visited and, very importantly, shared in Simon's 4th birthday!
Of course, there are hundreds of others from Bangladesh - most of them mentioned here on the blog or forever remembered in the pages of A Blonde Bengali Wife - to Tanzania to New Zealand and everywhere in between that are unsung yet treasured.
I can only hope that somehow and someday I manage to pay as many of you back as I can...
Readers of my Bangla musings will have heard countless times about Munnu, Mannu and Bachchu, the three brothers who have made me as near as is possible to a sister. Well, it's not much but at least this year, I've been able to welcome Bachchu to Edinburgh for a brief but lovely stay and show him our home.
It was a literal case of friends reunited: Jacqui also met all three brothers (and many other family members) during our visit in 2008 and Allan and Simon met Bachchu earlier this year on our 2014 trip. A wonderful evening, and let this post be both a genuine, if inadequate, thanks to all of you out there - and a general welcome to anyone passing through Scotland in the years to come!
Thursday, 31 July 2014
Writing from sunny California, with a new cluster of people to excite/bore about Bangladesh, I've realised I'm always quite vague about where the island of Bhola actually lies - saying 'right down in the Bay of Bengal' means something to those who know the geography of SE Asia, but there are a lot of us who remain very geographically-challenged! So here it is:
The circle shows the position of Bhola's Children, the island on which it is sits is - Bhola.
Our newest Trustee to make the journey is Freda Graf, and Freda is about to undertake a sponsored run (no, not actually to Bangladesh!) to help with the continuous fundraising drive. I'm attaching the link to the official Bhola's Children website here, first, in case you'd like to support Freda, and secondly because it's a re-vamped website that's well worth a look if you haven't been there recently.
And finally... if anyone has any ideas for other fundraising, please let me know. The Saltyard evening was wonderful, but I am so unimaginative about thinking of things I could do - and let me state right now, all suggestions gratefully received unless they involve me abseiling off the Forth Bridge.
Hope you're having a good summer wherever you are... We're off to Vermont next.
We Need Your Help!
Monday, 30 June 2014
The programme for the first of my Community Education classes has been 'Writing for Life', which has taken us through writing as a hobby to writing as reflection to writing as therapy... and all points in between. It has created a lot of very personal writing that has had all the greater resonance because of that, and has highlighted a significant difference between writing the story and telling the story. Maybe it is easier to control the writing, maybe because it is done in isolation, but once in front of an audience, there is an emotional charge that affects both the writer - and the 'hearer' - and it's a challenge for both. A very powerful experience.
This term culminated in the class interviewing me: me as myself (fact) with the additional information that I had more or less become the next JK Rowling with a huge publishing deal (fiction). The results ended in 8 very different (very good) pieces of writing - a great exercise in how and what (and why) individuals hear, interpret and report what they have experience in the same room at the same time.
At the same time, the current focus of my PhD critical theory has been how a novelist creates a totally fictional world. Surely, however far s/he retreats into imagination, both that fictional world and that imagination can never be totally free of external influence. In a story, a word, a phrase, a description is never 'just' a word or a phrase or a description, it has been very carefully chosen. IT needs to be authentic, not contrived and rarely coincidental.
Coincidence in fact though, in real life, is a different matter entirely. And that's abounded too recently. When we were in Bangladesh in April, we went to Sylhet and randomly met a local guide at the Five-Layer Tea Shop who offered to show us around a tea estate in Srimangal. It came to light it was that very same man who, a teenager at the time, had been the porter for a different tea estate, when I first visited there in 2001. A good story in itself...
Now fast forward to last Saturday on the crowded Edinburgh to London train. A man walked the length of the carriage, turned and came back to us. 'You were on the Emirates planes from Glasgow to Dubai,' he said. Yes, I agreed, having no recollection of ever having seen him before. It transpired he had been on his annual visit home, to Srimangal, to his family business, the Five-Layer Tea Shop.
Would that work in fiction? Make of it what you will but apparently it's a small world and all roads lead to Srimangal...
Saturday, 31 May 2014
We arrived in Bhola early on the morning of the 9th April. At this stage, it’s a homecoming for me as I’ve been to Bangladesh a dozen times; Simon at 3-and-a half is on his second visit, and for Allan, a fundraiser and supporter, also from Scotland, it was his first time in SE Asia.
Monday, 28 April 2014
The long-awaited trip back to Bangladesh seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye: Dhaka, Bhola, Srimangal... here are just a handful of the very many highlights...
|Hot off the plane(s) in Dhaka, and Ali secures us our rickshaw chariot|
|Arriving in Bhola by overnight launch|
|The new tractor-trailer - carrying 32 of us altogether|
|38 degrees but work to build the new road goes on|
|Cooking - but mainline gas has arrived!|
|Picnic breakfast for Bangla New Year|
|Allan leads the exercises...|
|Sunset on Bhola|
Allan took the photos, Simon fitted in as if he'd never been away, and Bhola's children, staff Ali were as fabulous as only they can be. More about what we did and how the home and school are progressing next time.
Thanks to everyone who's supporting us (and anyone who has any exciting fundraising ideas - please let me know!)
Saturday, 22 March 2014
Friday, 28 February 2014
If a blog isn't a perfect place for shameless advertising, then where is?
There is a wonderful café on Dalry Road, Edinburgh, called The Saltyard. The rumours might be true about Simon and I spending quite a lot of time there... but I promise you, so would anyone who lives a hop, skip and jump away. I've certainly been there enough to get talking about Bangladesh and the lovely staff - without coercion, persuasion or hints, honest - suggested Saltyard host a fundraiser for Bhola's Children.
Tickets are now available for this excellent evening, and everyone is welcome! Details follow... It would be lovely to see anyone who is local enough to drop in on Friday evening.
The lucky prize winners will receive a copy of A Blonde Bengali Wife and I will be doing a 5 minute talk about Bhola... but don't let that put you off! The food alone will compensate, and the company will be second to none.